Beware of Transient Contractors

July 31, 2008
Contact: Elise Schaffer, PIO Phone: (608) 284-6142 Email: schaffer@co.dane.wi.us
Sheriff's Office

Summer is a time when many homeowners focus on outside projects and repairs. Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney wants to remind property owners to be cautious of traveling groups or individuals offering quick work for a low price. The Dane County Sheriff’s Office has responded to some recent reports of crews going door-to-door offering driveway resurfacing. Typically these crews will tell a story that they were in the neighborhood working and they have extra material. They offer to do the work for cash at a low cost. Their work and materials are usually inferior, and the problems arise and complaints occur well after the workers are gone and cannot be found. The Sheriff’s Office suggests consumers consider these tips when hiring someone to do home improvements: · Don’t deal with someone you don’t know. Any reputable business whether it is an asphalt company or other construction company will have their name and phone number on their vehicles. Most are listed in the phone book or advertise locally. Always deal with local companies. Those who travel usually do so for a reason. · Most construction work requires permits, which take time to obtain. Anyone offering work done immediately should create suspicion. When hiring a contractor get estimates ahead of time. A detailed, written contract should be signed and agreed upon by both parties. · As in any business transaction… “If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is!” The Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone who is contacted by these transient work crews to get a description of their vehicles, including a license plate number, and report the incident to law enforcement immediately. ###